SC seeks Centre’s response on homosexuality
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 18:36
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Centre on the petition filed by a child protection body challenging the Delhi High Court verdict legalising gay sex on the ground that it was based on very scanty and selective material.

A Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal, G S Singhvi and M K Sharma issued notices to the government and NGO Naz Foundation and others, on whose petition the High Court had held that criminalisation of gay sex among consenting adults is violative of fundamental rights.

The petition filed by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) contended that the dilution of section 377 of IPC has legalised one more way of large scale sexual exploitation of children.

Senior advocate Amarender Sharan and Amit Kumar, appearing for DCPCR, said dilution of the penal provision will have pernicious effects on Children.

The Bench tagged the petition of DCPCR with other appeals on which the notices have already been issued and posted the matter for hearing on October 1.

When the Bench wanted to know whether DCPCR had intervened in the matter before the High Court, Sharan replied in the negative and said it was doing so now as DCPCR, after going through the judgement, has filed the appeal as it is a statutory Commission for the protection of children.

The DCPCR submitted that plethora of scientific research highlighting the problems of homosexual behaviour and their serious impact on child welfare was not brought before the High Court which held that the homosexual behaviour is a normal behaviour.

"The High Court was not having the benefit of scientific studies and on a very scanty, selective material has passed the judgement holding that the homosexual behaviour is a normal behaviour," the petition said.

The Commission contended that gay sex would adversely affect the physiological and mental development of a child and the High Court has failed to take into account the problems encountered by homosexuals and their outcome on society at large including children.

The petition has contended that the age of 18 years to define adulthood for consensual homosexual act in private is unreasonable as the age is characterised by changes and turmoil where the inquisitiveness and peer group pressure play a major role in the personality development of a child.

The apex court had earlier issued a notice to the Centre on a petition filed by a Christian body, a disciple of Yoga guru Ramdev and astrologer Suresh Kumar Kaushal seeking a stay on the High Court verdict legalising gay sex on the ground that it will have a catastrophic effect on the society's moral fabric.

All the petitioners have sought setting aside of the July two High Court verdict legalising gay sex between consenting adults in private, which was earlier a criminal offence punishable with upto life imprisonment.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 18:36

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